Friday, September 27, 2013

A Month Already?

In the last couple of weeks, life has been full of new discoveries, meetings, and experiences. I have successfully lived in France for one month now and I am loving every moment. It is really interesting how just one month abroad has not only broadened my perspective but made me appreciate all of the things I took for granted over in the States.

I feel so privileged to be attending ESC Rennes. Here I have rediscovered why I chose to study business. I have always felt like a natural leader and here I have been able to use my skills and am learning to develop them in a culturally and globally responsible way. I know that I want a career that will allow me to continuously develop as a person. I hope to find ways a job that has opportunities to travel and establish relationships around the world. I want to find a company whose values align with mine and whose goals better the world we live in. It sounds unattainable but if experience has taught me anything it is that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.

Last week leaves began to fall and the notorious rainy weather of Rennes struck consistently. Lucky for all of us living here, this week is the opposite! I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore a bit of the city by foot with my friend, Erika. There are so many beautiful sights to take in all around the city. I finally took the time to slow down and enjoy these sights. One of the things I love the most about France is that taking the time for the “little things” is always permitted. Erika and I indulged in one of these little things by sitting in Sainte Anne and having un petit repose.

One of the most amazing things that I have discovered is my new ability to make the best out of a bad situation. Every day that I have had a bad experience or have felt lonely, I have turned around. I am deciding to finally live for the day (while maintaining future goals) and forget the trivial worries that plague me. In other words, I give it to God.

Based on the thoughts I have as I lay in bed every night, I don’t know how I will be able to go back to the life I lead before. I know that the next eight months will fly by and I will have to begin a new way of living back home. I am going to look for opportunity everywhere I go from now on.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Learning about myself

This week has been full of learning on many different levels. I cannot believe how lucky I am to be able to have this study abroad experience!

This week I started classes and am remembering why I chose to be a business student. One thing I love about ESC Rennes, is that the students really are here to learn (no matter how much they party). It feels nice to be surrounded by people who value learning and who take part in class projects and discussions willingly.

Tuesday, I had my Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management class. I took the Belbin test in order to find out which role I play in a group and my results were really spot on! I am the "Shaper" who is described as "Highly strung, outgoing, dynamic." I couldn't believe how well the description fit me. I am also glad to see that I really do play an important role in a team (as does every member). My next highest result was the "company worker." Apparently, I am versatile.

On Wednesday, I had the day off and decided to take a dance class offered by ESC. It was so nice to do something familiar, something that I have always loved. I was excited to take the class in French, another opportunity to brush up! I also may have the opportunity to audition for a play that a theatre group is putting on!

This week I've learned a lot about people too. I have finally come to a point where I can strongly and firmly stand up for myself in threatening situations and I am no longer afraid to tell people when something is bothering me. I have found good friends and I have found untrustworthy peers. I am so happy that my circle of good friends is bigger than that of the untrustworthy.

I think that living here alone and figuring out my own path is the best way for me to find myself. I look forward to the next 8 months and all of the wisdom I will gain from studying abroad!

Erika and I after dance!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School!

It's been another eventful day for me here in Rennes! Today I started school and it was the most lovely day to begin anew in my host university.

I was amazed to find that it was still dark today when I woke up and was barely daybreak when I went to catch the bus. I got to my university and promptly found my classroom. I made sure to get a seat right in the centre and had plenty of room for other students (French, I hoped) to sit next to me.

I was amazed at how focused I was in class (International Organizational Behavior). An American professor who has lived in France for two decades teaches it and already brought in a guest speaker. It was so refreshing to get in there and get going right away. I hope that my longer days (8:15am-4:30pm) go just as well as today did!

This evening I also participated in a fitness class put on by the Sports Club at ESC. It was the most intense, crowded workout. To top it off, the girl instructed in French! I was relieved to see that I understood mostly everything she said. I will try a dance class later in the week and I am sure I will decided to join the club. What a great way to meet people and stay healthy! 

Did I mention le chat noir that I met? C'est mignon!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bonjour Everyone,

This is almost my second week here in Rennes and I am loving every second of it! So far, I have done a lot to get my life started here. I have set up my flat, bought a bus pass, and met many people!

I am absolutely amazed at my daily experiences. People have proved to be very accepting and helpful to me throughout the past week and a half. My French speaking is very broken but I am able to get my point across and understand what people say to me.

Today I went to the Lices Market that is held every Saturday. There are so many fresh foods and flowers for sale at extremely reasonable prices! I am really enjoying all of the fresh fruits! I think I spent about 23 euros today on a weeks worth of groceries, which is a good price if you ask me!

Needless to say...

 J'adore mon vie en France!